It was a very sunny Sunday afternoon when my mother in-law came in from the village. We had decided to bring her from the village to live with us in Lagos. She was so happy to be in Lagos. A city she had always heard of and we were also very happy to have her around. But this excitement turned soar the next day.
Mama woke up to see my husband and I already set to go to work that morning. Immediately we saw her come out of her room, we greeted her, and then I quickly informed her that her food was ready and that I kept it in the kitchen. But instead of saying thank you, she just starred at me with great surprise. After a few seconds she suddenly broke the silence by asking why I didn’t come to greet her in her room when I woke up. I was so surprised at the question. In fact, I didn’t even know what to say. But as soon as my husband noticed that I was short of words and was in shock, he quickly apologized on my behalf and then told her that we needed to step out so we do not arrive late at work.
Immediately we got into the car, my husband quickly apologized on behalf of his mom and advised me to please overlook any fault so that peace could reign. Then I smiled and told him calmly that I wasn’t offended and that I would always see his mom as my mom also. He smiled back and kissed me then, we zoomed off.
Later that day, I returned from work 4 hours earlier than my husband. Since I do not have a car yet, my husband always dropped me off at work in the morning, while I return on my own because we both have different closing hours. On my return, I went straight to mama’s room and greeted her on my knees expecting her to be very glad to see me with the pack of food I got for her from a very expensive restaurant on my way back home. But to my surprise, she slowly turned towards my direction, hissed and told me to go and eat my food; the food I prepared for her in the morning. I was so surprised. Then I got up and asked her why she didn’t eat the food. Her reply went like this… ”I am too old and traditional to be eating egg and fried ripe plantain. Do you think I am that our useless mother who didn’t train you well?”
I felt very bad but I had no option than to apologize. After tendering my apology, I gave her the pack of food I got and made up my mind to always inquire of what she wants to eat before cooking any thing for her.
Mama: heeee…. what is this rubish? I can now see what you use my son’s money for. So you buy food? Can’t you cook? stupid girl!
She kept yelling as she threw the pack of food at me. At that point I became so confused and was beginning to get agitated too. But I just thanked her in the midst of her yelling and left to my room.
Three hours later, my husband came in and found me on the bed crying. He had never really met me in that mood before so he asked what the matter was. I explained to him and after the explanation he did exactly what he did in the car that morning. He apologized on mama’s behalf and kissed me. I felt good again and decided to overlook.
The next morning, I got up at around 7:30 am. It was my day off. Knowing that my husband should have left for work by then, I decided to go to mama’s room to greet her and ask her what she would like to eat. As I was going to mama’s room, I was shocked to perceive the smell of food coming from the kitchen. So I decided to find out who it was.
Husband: Good morning darling!
Wife: Hey! I thought you had gone to work….
Husband: I am already done. Since its your day off, I decided to cook you something nice to enjoy yourself with till I return.
Wife: Wow… I am grateful baby…
Gbam! I could not even finish my statement when we both heard a very angry voice from behind….
Mama: Oh I can see! So this is how you have turned my son to your cook. So he even cooks for you before leaving for work. You are an idiot. Lazy bones! By the time I am through with you, you would realize that you can not ruin the life of a boy I carried for 9 months. No! Not when I am alive. I won’t take it.
That was it. Mama began to hit me. My husband tried to stop her by explaining to her that it didn’t matter and that it was an old mentality. He then added that, if a woman could also work to assist the home financially, he saw nothing wrong with a man occasionally helping out in cooking .
Mama: Son…! Do not be a fool. I can see that this woman has brain washed you already. I’ll kill her today!
Mama continued to hit me till I could escape into our bedroom. I was so broken. I felt terrible. My husband walked in to apologize as usual. But this time his apology didn’t mean anything to me. I told him that I had made up my mind to live my life and ignore mama totally. I added that, if the house felt too unbearable, either of us would have to leave: MAMA OR I. He looked at me for a minute without saying anything, smiled, then reminded me of the food he had prepared for me and went to work.
After he left, I took my bath ate and went out to see my friend. I didn’t return home that day till my husband came back so as to avoid any further trouble with Mama.
After I had prepared for work the next day been Wednesday, I and my husband stepped into the living room to find food served on the dinning table with Mama sitting by it. I felt my heart skip a beat on seeing her positioned like that. Then I gathered courage to greeted her but she refused my greeting.
Mama: My son, I cannot allow this woman ruin you. You are my only son and you ought to be enjoying the benefits of having a wife. Spare me all those Oyibo rubbish. How can a man leave for work without eating well. Look I prepared your favorite native soup .
My Husband: But Mama I’d be late if I eat. Besides, I am used to skipping breakfast. I don’t see the need of bothering my wife. I am just fine with whenever she can prepare breakfast Mama.
Mama: I repeat.. Spare me all those Oyibo rubbish! If you do not eat this food I would never forgive you.
My Husband: Alright Mama! But only if my wife can join me.
Mama: Of course she can. She has no shame. I am the one that now prepares food for my son’s wife. Well, If she won’t do it, I would because I can’t watch my son suffer!
My husband knew I wouldn’t eat the food so he looked at me, winked and said with a lovely smile… ”Honey If you do not eat with me I wouldn’t eat. I am sure you want Mama to forgive me right?”
Deep within me I could sense at once that it would cause more trouble if I do not eat. I knew Mama would accuse me for not letting her son eat her food. So I joined in though with mixed feelings.
And then suddenly something happened ………..I felt a strong urge to throw up. So I quickly ran to the visitors’ toilet. When I returned back to the dinning table, I noticed that Mama was no longer there. As I was trying to recover, my husband suddenly stood up,looked at me with a sad but stern face, shook his head and headed for the car. I was amazed because he didn’t even bother about telling me he was leaving. He just left, leaving me behind.
I went to work that day feeling very confused. I didn’t know what I had done wrong. My husband had never acted in such manner in the past 4 years of our marriage.
My marriage was a very happy one. He loved me so much that we do almost every thing together. He was indeed my life partner.
When I returned from work that day, I met my husband in the house. This was very unusual. He had never come home before me. So I greeted him and told him I was surprised to meet him at home. But to my surprise, he didn’t reply. He got up, took his keys, packed a few clothes and zoomed off.
You needed to see me. I couldn’t move. In fact I couldn’t sit. I just gazed at the door in utter surprise.
After I had been able to get a hold of myself, I decided to go to Mama’s room to greet her. On getting there, she was no where to be found. The room was empty and her clothes were gone. So I decided to call my husband immediately to ask about the where about of Mama. The phone kept ringing and ringing. He didn’t take any of my calls. So I held my peace. Then almost immediatly, I received an SMS that read …
Hi! I need some space please since you have succeeded in killing my mom. After you left for work mother called me crying. She said she’s no longer comfortable staying with us and that she feels terrible and greatly insulted, that you had to throw up just because you ate her food. After about 3 hours I was called upon by a good Samaritan than my mum had been hit by a car while crossing a very busy road in Lagos. Well she didn’t make it! She is dead! I hope you are happy now that the witch is off your neck. You can go and celebrate. You couldn’t even pretend for my sake after my pleading with you.
After reading the SMS, my hands began to tremble so much that I didn’t know when my phone dropped from my hands. My heart suddenly became heavy. It just wasn’t my desire for Mama to die and it really did hurt me that my husband saw me as the cause of her death.
Three weeks passed and I didn’t hear from my husband. He didn’t return home after that day neither did he call nor take my calls. I was really weighed down. In the 4th week after my husband left house I began to notice something strange……
I noticed that I was getting very pale.Even though I wasn’t eating well due to depression, I just was sure that this was very unusual. After observing myself for some days, I decided to go to the hospital for check up. There I was told I was pregnant. Well. I’m very sorry to say this – I wasn’t happy about the news at all.
There was no joy in me because I had already made up my mind to opt out of the marriage. I was so sure that there was no way my marriage would remain the same since my husband already saw me as the primary cause of his mother’s death. Even though I wanted to keep it, I felt very sad because we had waited 4 years for a child.
Two days after, my husband showed up from nowhere. He came in the evening looking very lean and unkempt. I didn’t even recognize him at first. His face looked angry and sad. It was a look I had never seen before and a look I wasn’t prepared to live with for the rest of my life. He walked towards me while I starred at him and handed me a letter of divorce.
I didn’t hesitate to take it from him at all. I told him to wait for a minute so I could get a letter that I wanted to give him. Luckily, the pregnancy test result was already lying there on the dinning table. So I handed it over to him. He opened it immediately and for about 20 minutes, he kept looking into the letter. And before I knew it, he began to weep. He said he wants everything to go back to the way it used to be. Trust me! I didn’t say a word. I quietly went into the bedroom and locked the door. I really needed to sleep and did not want to be bothered at all since I had already made up my mind to quit the marriage.
That night he moved back into the house but he moved into the other room since I had locked the main bedroom. Well, his return did not mean anything to me.
From that then henceforth, He began to wake up very early in the morning to cook, he always went to the market, he would always wait for me to get dressed so he could drop me at work, he always cleaned the house etc…… but all those I never accepted. I never ate his food, used his food stuff, rode in his car nor even talked to him. I just didn’t see a need for reconciliation because had it been I wasn’t carrying his child, he would not have returned. I had even started to make plans to move into another apartment.
Despite my not paying attention to him, he never gave up. He kept doing all those nice things, begging all the time t forgive him. Again, He always made sounds every night as if he was sick but, I never paid attention t it because I felt all those were tactics just to lure me to forgive him sincethat was his usual tactics when things were still ok.
Then one day I got a shocking call at work from the hospital that my husband had died. Could this be another tactics of his?
…..I was about to hang up on the caller in disbelief when he (the doctor) said he’d send the hospital address to me. I got the SMS in few seconds and it was the address of a kidney hospital. Yet, that didn’t convince a bit. I felt it was another good tactics of his to lure me into forgiving him because, I was so sure that my husband was not sick neither did he have any problems with his kidneys. So I replied the SMS stating that I would come over at the close of work.
By 3pm I was at the hospital. Truly it was my husband. He was dead. The doctor handed a letter to me in my husband’s hand writing. He said my husband had instructed him to hand it over to me.
Still in shock and doubt, I opened the letter. It read…..
Hi sweetie! I know my now you must have been told that I have passed away. I wrote this to tell you how much I really loved you and our unborn child and how sorry I am for the way I treated you.
A month prior to my mother’s arrival, I was diagnosed of kidney failure but, I couldn’t bring myself to tell you because I was told I had few months to live. I knew it would hurt you so much and I just didn’t want the remaining days I had to live on earth to be full of sorrow, sadness and tears. I wanted to enjoy myself. I brought mama to the house for the same reason. I wanted to spend time with both of you. It’s not like I did not see what mama was doing to you. It’s not that I couldn’t take her home and make her pay us brief visits occasionally just for you to be happy. I only just wanted her around. That was the main reason why I kept begging you to endure.
When I left the house I had mixed feelings. I was very angry at you and the same time I couldn’t bear the loss of my mother. I thought you threw-up on purpose. Now I know it was because of the pregnancy. I really regret my actions. I should have trusted you wouldn’t do something like that. Please try and understand. I really beg for your forgiveness.
Message to My Son:
Honey, I am sorry I wasn’t able to see you come to life. It was due to circumstances beyond my control. I want you to please take care of your mummy for me. I know you would be a good boy. Please do not be stubborn like your daddy. Please listen to your mum and take after her in everything except the hatred she has for football. Make sure you become a Chelsea fan Hahahaha… I love you so much and I will always love you!
Mummy! I still cannot believe he is gone forever. I know I have no choice than to face the reality of his death and raising this child all by myself. But I keep asking myself this question……
MOTHER, WHERE DID I GO WRONG?
MOTHER: I have heard your story. It is really a sad one. But my daughter you both lacked forgiveness. It could have changed alot of things. If he had forgiven you, he wouldn’t have left you. If you had forgiven him, you would have known about his ill health. Perhaps he could have lived a little longer with your support. You see, in life, it takes nothing to forgive and you lose everything when you don’t forgive. It may be painful to let go but in the end you’d be glad you did. Unforgiveness does nothing but hurt you and everyone around you…. So…..
Well I was greatly relieved when I woke up to find out that it was only a dream. From then till this very moment I have learnt to forgive even before I get offended.
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STORY TITLE: MOTHER, WHERE DID I GO WRONG?.
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